Damon Tommolino

As far as the "body" of my work goes, I would break the majority of it down into three categories:

1. Social / Political / Evolution (commentary)

2. Man and Woman / Adam and Eve (creationism vs. evolution)

3. Moche (interpretations of the Peruvian artifacts).

The common link between the thoughts behind my work is that I am extremely interested in the ongoing argument between Creationism vs. Darwinism vs. Intelligent Design vs. The Ancient Mystery vs. Who we really are today.

The point of my paintings is to provoke as much thought as possible. I try hard not to overly point a viewer in any one specific direction. I don't believe this is my job as an artist. I would much rather present several ideas or options or paths for any viewer to take throughout any given piece. Therefore, I purposely leave a certain amount of ambiguity in the work. At its best, viewers will be able to make connections between the characters I paint and their own lives.

I strive to bring awareness to the way in which we live. My paintings reflect our society, our nation, and our most intimate relationships. Is there room for improvement or growth in our lives?

Image
"The Anthropologist" by Damon Tommolino

As far as the rendering goes, my goal is to keep one idea in my head while painting a piece and to try to be as consistent as possible with the energy of the brushstrokes throughout that piece. Hence, I rarely switch brushes during a piece and I almost always finish a piece in one sitting even if it takes 16 hours. I am never happy with the outcome of a piece when I revisit an idea at another time because I see too many conflicting thoughts or inconsistencies in energy or attitude.

Finally, the Man and Woman series started as a series of self portraits with various looking women. Some of these pieces are physiognomic or psychological studies of my wife. I usually depict the Man as "early man" or a far more primitive creature than the Woman. This concept is also depicted in the Adam and Eve series of works where there is something very "cavelike" to the first human beings created by God. I just do this because I think it's funny. The underlying theme to these paintings is that we never, (no matter how long we are with the person,) fully understand our significant other. As for the people in this series, I often paint their facial expressions to be either bewildered, cynical, confused, or helpless with emotion.

In all, one of the major problems in the world today is that you have groups of people who truly believe that they are more evolved than other groups of people. The people who think they are more evolved usually judge, stereotype or conquer the latter. This is a contradiction that I love to address in some of my work and especially in the anti-war pieces that I create. If my work can guide viewers to analytically look at themselves and how they coexist with a society, I have accomplished what I set out to do.

Throughout the past four years I have been really serious about the ideas that I bring to canvas. Museum visits have served as inspiration. To be specific, I am still in awe with what the early expressionistic groups had accomplished. I hope to do something similar

 
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